“Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety, and a better future. It is part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family.” – Ban Ki-Moon
June 11, 2023
Dear State House Watchers,
In addition to Pride, June is also Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM), an opportunity to acknowledge the essential contributions of immigrants to this country, and to celebrate the strength and beauty of our connections to our countries of origin, to each other and to the United States. In honor of this month, the ‘I Stand With Immigrants’ Initiative (ISWI) released their first report – Moving the Culture, Shaping our Future. The report looks at positive narrative shifts on immigration over the past ten years and explains how the work of advocacy organizations fighting for cultural change is important to securing policy changes that protect undocumented immigrants and their loved ones.
The Home Stretch
In the state legislature, we’ve arrived at the Committee of Conference (CoC) phase. This is the process by which all bills that have passed both bodies but with differences that need to be reconciled are worked on in hope of arriving at a compromise which will be approved in both chambers. CoCs need to be formed by June 15, and they need to complete their work by June 22. The final day to vote on CoC reports is June 29, the last day of the 2023 session. The House calendar includes a helpful description of the process as outlined in the House rules:
The Chairmen of the policy committees will receive bills amended by the Senate and should check with their committees to determine whether to recommend that the House concur, non-concur, or non-concur and request a Committee of Conference.
When a committee requests that the bill be sent to a Committee of Conference, the Chairman will recommend members for appointment. If the bill has gone to more than one committee, the members may come from the different committees as determined by the Speaker. Chairmen should recommend only those members from their policy committees. The Speaker shall make the final decision of Conference committee members, and the committee choices are generally limited to those who support the House position.
The first named House member shall serve as Chairman of the House Conferees. For House bills in Committee of Conference, the House Conferee Chairman shall set the time and place of the first meeting with the Clerk’s Office and shall chair each meeting of the Committee of Conference. The first meeting shall be posted in the Clerk’s Office, and on the General Court website at least 24 hours in advance. If a Committee of Conference meeting recesses, the reconvening time shall be posted in the Clerk’s office, and on the General Court website with at least 12 hours’ notice.
The House and Senate Conferees on a bill shall meet jointly but vote separately while in conference. The Committee of Conference may not change the title of the bill. The Committee also may not make amendments that are not germane to the subject matter of the bill or contain subject matter that has been indefinitely postponed. A non-germane amendment is one in which the subject matter is not contained in either the House or Senate version of the bill.
A unanimous vote of both the House and Senate Conferees, voting separately, is necessary for an agreed upon report to be sent to the House and Senate. Reports of all Committees of Conference must be filed with the Office of Legislative Services by the June 22, 2023 deadline adopted by the House. The first-named House member on all bills in Committee of Conference must prepare an analysis of the report. This report should contain a complete explanation of all changes made to the bill since it was passed by the House and must be submitted to the Clerk of the House for printing in the calendar.
We’ll watch the calendar next week for a list of the CoCs and for the details of the meetings. In an unusual development, there will not be a CoC for the state budget bills this year, following a successful bi-cameral and bi-partisan negotiation last week which culminated in the full House voting to concur with the Senate-passed budget bills. The House votes to concur (351-25 for HB 1, and 326-53 for HB 2) took place on Thursday, June 8; the budget bills are on their way to the governor who is expected to sign them. Read on for more details.
The State Budget
NH legislators wrapped up their work on the state budget last week, with strong bipartisan agreement in both bodies. The outcome is mixed, but there are many reasons for celebration, including: a 12% wage increase for state workers; a seven-year reauthorization for expanded Medicaid; an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates; Medicaid eligibility for some immigrants; a public notification requirement in advance of immigration checkpoints; restoration of the Education Trust fund and increased aid for school districts; critical investments in childcare and affordable housing; full funding for the Alcohol Abuse, Prevention and Treatment Fund; inclusion of the Healthy Aging System of Care; and a much smaller appropriation of funds for a new prison than was originally proposed by the governor.
It is important to acknowledge that this budget continues to under-invest in the well-being of New Hampshire communities with regard to public education, affordable housing, retirement for state workers, and care for the environment, in favor of yet another tax break for the wealthiest people and corporations in our state. The budget also includes an expansion of the costly and unaccountable school voucher program.
One of our biggest disappointments is the inclusion of $1.4 million of non-lapsing funds for the Northern Border Alliance, a program that will engage local, county and state police in border patrol activities at the northern border. The House wisely voted to remove this funding from the governor’s budget, citing the lack of any data to support such a program, and the problematic impacts of diverting limited local police resources for federal enforcement activities. Senator Bradley led the effort to restore the funding to the Senate version, although there was still no data and the Department of Safety hadn’t mentioned this program when asked by the Senate Finance Committee about their funding priorities for the biennium.
Increased border enforcement, and diversion of local law enforcement for this purpose, is reckless, harmful and not justified, and appears to be motived by xenophobic narratives rather than common sense. We are saddened that removal of the Northern Border Alliance wasn’t a priority for the final negotiation. We need to do better.
Throughout the process, the NH Campaign for a People’s Budget engaged a diverse group of activists, advocates, and leaders through educational programs, joint statements, action alerts and visibilities. We thank everyone who took steps to make your voices heard. We believe it made a difference, and we know that working together across many interconnected priorities is the only way forward if we are going to get the budget we deserve. You can read our final budget letter here, and hear some People’s Budget voices here (TikTok) and here (Instagram).
For lots more detail about the state budget, we recommend the recent blog post from the NH Fiscal Policy Institute: Senate Modifies State Budget Proposal, House Concurs with Senate Changes and Sends Budget to Governor (June 9, 2023). You can also join their webinar briefing on Monday, June 12, 10:30 AM to 12 noon. Register here.
And here’s a news roundup:
NH House Overwhelmingly Approves Senate Budget Package, by Garry Rayno, InDepthNH.org, June 8, 2023
N.H. House passes Senate version of $15 billion state budget, by Amanda Gokee, Boston Globe, June 8, 2023
‘We made history’: Lawmakers send Sununu a budget nearly all support, by Annmarie Timmins, NH Bulletin, June 8, 2023
Breaking down the NH budget – four categories to note as House and Senate send bills back to Sununu, by Michaela Towfighi, Concord Monitor, June 8, 2023
State budget debate ends quickly as House endorses $15.2 billion Senate package as is, by Josh Rogers, NH Public Radio, June 8, 2023
The Planets Align for the State Budget, by Garry Rayno, InDepthNH.org, June 10, 2023
More News from Last Week's Sessions
We are delighted to report that SB 132, the anti-sanctuary cities bill, was tabled in the House by a vote of 203-168. Many thanks to the NH Immigrant Rights Network, the ACLU, immigrant leaders, faith leaders, and all who organized to defeat this harmful bill, including law enforcement leaders and municipal officials.
We also celebrate that an attempt by Representative Lynn to resurrect his anti-tenant bill - HB 117, which would have removed the requirement that landlords have a ‘just cause’ to evict a tenant – was defeated in the House. Rep. Lynn tried to add the language of HB 117 as an amendment to another bill, SB 172, but his amendment was defeated by a vote of 185-188. The House approved SB 172 without the amendment, which is good news because the bill makes it possible for court-appointed guardians to receive TANF benefits. Read more here.
There’s more good news! The Senate passed HB 315, which eliminates the “LGBTQ+ panic defense,” a legal strategy for a defendant who says that their act of violence was prompted by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill is headed to the governor. A good way to celebrate Pride Month!
The House passed SB 70, which would create an election information portal where voters could register to vote, update their information, and request an absentee ballot. The legislation would also direct the Secretary of State’s office to create a grant system to distribute Help America Vote Act funds to cities and towns update their ballot counting devices. Read more here. McKenzie St. Germain, Director for the New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights, issued the following statement: “We are glad to see a bipartisan House vote in support of legislation to increase access to voter registration and modernize New Hampshire elections. Creating an election information portal will allow voters across the state to update their voter profiles and allow election officials to keep their lists cleaner and cut down wait times on election day. In addition, utilizing some of the $12.8 million reserve of Help America Vote Act funds would help ensure every community is able to purchase a new ballot counting device as new machines are approved, improving the state’s election infrastructure and saving taxpayer dollars. Now, we call on the Senate to concur and advance this legislation to the Governor, advancing long overdue voter access and modernization for New Hampshire voters.”
Beyond the Dome
After months of mass protests led by environmental and racial justice activists, indigenous leaders and others, the Atlanta City Council voted last week to fund a $67 million police training facility called “Cop City.” The 11-4 vote followed hours of public comment which was overwhelmingly in opposition. If constructed, Cop City will be the largest police training facility in the U.S.—all built by clear-cutting the Welaunee forest, known as the “lungs of the city.” AFSC is supporting Atlanta community members and has joined a growing list of partners organizing to stop the project. “We are opposed to the continued destruction of protected forests that are the lungs of this city and to the continued militarization and expansion of a policing strategy that is failing our communities,” says AFSC’s Tim Franzen. Read more here, here and here.
In a surprising victory for racial justice and voting rights, the US Supreme Court has rejected a racially gerrymandered legislative district map in Alabama and ordered the state of Alabama to rewrite the map to include a second majority black district. The map in question created one African-American majority district out of seven, despite the fact that African-Americans make up 25% of the voter base in the state. Read more here.
Back in New Hampshire, community members are considering legal options in response to the state’s removal of the Elizabeth Gurley Flynn marker, noting that the state did not act in accordance with their own policy regarding removal of historical markers and is failing to communicate in a timely manner to petitioners’ appeals. Read more here.
The process by which the rules for public education in New Hampshire are being rewritten and key aspects of the proposed draft are being criticized by public education advocates, school superintendents and a teachers’ union. Amanda Gokee’s recent article for the Boston Globe highlights the concerns, including an opaque process, lack of inclusion of current teachers on the committee, removal of language regarding equity, and mistrust of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut and the state’s willingness to adequately fund “a seismic shift” in how public schools operate.
Hearty congratulations to Change for Concord for securing funding in the City of Concord budget for night lights for the soccer fields at Keach Park. AFSC’s Grassroots Organizer Fisto Ndayishimiye and the members of Change for Concord worked over many months to build public support for this investment. This victory represents the increasing strength of young adult and new American leadership within the Concord community, and is a boost to the much-needed work for equity and inclusion in the city. Read more here and here.
Last Week at the State House
LOB – Legislative Office Building (33 N. State St. Concord)
SH – State House (107 N. Main St. Concord)
TABLED – Laid on the table. A vote to put the bill ‘on the table’ means that no further action will be taken until the bill comes off the table. A 2/3 vote may be required to remove the bill from the table. After Crossover, tabled bills cannot be acted on for the remainder of the legislative year.
OTP – “Ought to Pass,” the recommendation for approving a bill or an amendment
OTP/A – Ought to Pass with Amendment
ITL – “Inexpedient to Legislate,” the recommendation for defeating a bill or an amendment.
ITL can also be used as a verb.
RE-REFER – When a Senate committee wishes to hold onto a bill for further consideration. The recommendation to re-refer must be approved in the full Senate. The committee will have until the end of the calendar year to meet about the bill and make a recommendation for further action.
RETAIN – When a House committee wishes to hold onto a bill for further consideration. The committee makes this decision for themselves; approval in the full House is not needed. The committee has until the end of the calendar year to make a recommendation for further action.
RC – Roll call vote. Each legislator’s vote is recorded and attributed to them.
VV – Voice vote. Occurs when the speaker listens for whether yay or nay is louder (no votes are counted).
DV – Division vote. Votes are counted but names aren't recorded.
WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION - This indicates that the committee vote was a tie for both ITL and OTP. During the House session, these bills will be considered first as Ought to Pass.
Last week in the House
The House met in session on Thursday, June 8. Here are outcomes for some of the bills we’re tracking.
On the Consent Calendar
COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SB 85-FN-A, relative to emergency behavioral health services and behavioral health crisis programs. This bill defines behavioral health crisis programs within the mental health treatment laws. It also creates a commission to study behavioral health crisis programs. Finally, it limits pre-authorization requirements for emergency behavioral health services to be in compliance with the mental health parity law. The amendment adds psychologists to the commission. OTP/A by VV.
SB 102, relative to the Jones Act’s effect on New Hampshire’s heating and energy fuel market. This bill would create a study committee to study the effect of the federal Jones Act (the Act) on New Hampshire’s energy and fuel market. ITL by VV.
SB 243, establishing a committee to study implementing a state-based health insurance exchange. ITL by VV.
SB 136, prohibiting the employment or volunteering of a revoked or suspended educator. This bill states that an educator whose credential has been suspended or revoked cannot be employed or even volunteer at a public school or a non-public school. There are exceptions provided such as employment to begin after the suspension. OTP by VV.
CACR 9, relating to the New Hampshire presidential primary. Providing that the New Hampshire presidential primary will be the first presidential primary of a presidential election cycle. The committee felt that enshrining this right into the New Hampshire Constitution was not appropriate and should not share the space with such valued institutions such as the right to keep and bear arms and the right to free speech. Tabled by VV.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION
SB 53-FN, (New Title) permitting the use of certain refrigerants that are in compliance with the Clean Air Act. OTP/A by VV.
SB 105-FN, relative to information collected by the division of vital records administration as part of the live birth worksheet. OTP/A by VV.
SB 207, (New Title) establishing a committee to study licensure of mental health professionals and relative to mental health critical incident intervention and management. The committee amendment, which replaces the entire bill, deletes the study committee, revises the definitions of peer support groups, and incorporates conditional licenses for mental health workers; allowing them to work while finalizing the requirements for full licensure, under the supervision of a licensed professional. OTP/A by VV.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
SB 46, relative to electronic payments to employee debit cards. This bill would eliminate an employee’s ability to receive a paper check if they do not have a checking account and allows the employer to only offer them a payroll card. ITL by VV.
SB 269, relative to tip pooling and sharing. OTP by VV.
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT
SB 47, establishing a commission to study barriers to increased density of residential development in New Hampshire. With a current shortage of over 20,000 housing units statewide the commission will study issues related to the density of residential development in New Hampshire by considering minimum standards of residential development density for different housing types by considering the availability of public water and sewer infrastructure or other appropriate alternatives and account for the variability of environmental conditions. The commission will also study the impacts of development, potential model ordinances to support municipalities in their planning work, and the build-out potential of existing residential properties, including single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, and other existing property types, based on the existence of water/sewer infrastructure or lack thereof and recommend potential legislation resulting from their work. OTP/A by VV.
SB 222, relative to the definition of broadband infrastructure as a revenue-producing facility eligible for municipal revenue bonds. This bill allows municipalities to finance broadband infrastructure by extending bond issuing authority to locations within communications districts formed under RSA 53-G. Notwithstanding substantial improvements to the broadband capabilities added to many locations in New Hampshire, there are still areas that are underserved by this basic utility. Allowing those locations to issue revenue-producing bonds specifically to implement or upgrade their systems ensures access to a vital means of communication throughout the state. OTP by VV.
RESOURCES, RECREATION AND DEVELOPMENT
SB 11, relative to African American burial grounds. This bill requires consultation with the descendants or descendant community prior to excavation or exploration of historical or unmarked and newly discovered graves. As amended, the bill moves the language to the proper area of the RSAs and adds to the current statute covering Native American graves additional categories of historical remains to ensure proper treatment and require consultation with the appropriate descendant communities and the state archaeologist prior to relocation. The language also requires return of artifacts to their original sites or the descendant community. The NH Historical Society, the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, along with the State Archaeologist support the language and concur it is consistent with current practices for handling of historical grave remains, and this bill merely places them in statute. OTP/A by VV
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON CHILDCARE
SB 170-FN, relative to small group child day care centers. This bill creates a new type of residential childcare license for up to 12 children and has a provision for before and after school care as well as for holidays. This will increase the supply of childcare in the state, most notably in rural areas which do not have the population to support a full childcare center. The committee views this bill as an integral first step to solving the childcare supply shortage in the state. OTP/A by VV.
SB 187-FN, relative to driver’s licenses for certain visa holders. This bill addresses licensing for migrant agricultural workers. Currently, after being here for 60 days, these workers are required to get a New Hampshire license by RSA 263:35. The picking season can be longer than that. This bill extends the ability to drive on a foreign jurisdiction license for 300 days. The license must be in English. Those with licenses printed in another language would need an international permit, or still apply for a New Hampshire license after 60 days. OTP/A by VV.
WAYS AND MEANS
SB 32-FN, relative to the opioid abatement trust fund. This bill would make changes to the Opioid Abatement Trust Fund, originally created in 2020 to manage the settlement funds from opioid litigation, under the direction of the Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission. Its purpose is three-fold: it requires at least one round of grants per year, as long as there is at least $5 million in the fund; it makes additions to the eligibility for grant recipients, at the request of the subject matter experts on the commission; and it updates the statutory language to reflect best practices in the field. OTP by VV.
On the Regular Calendar
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
SB 58, relative to arrests without a warrant while in the care of a medical professional on the premises of a residential care or health care facility. Currently, patients committing misdemeanor level assaults on healthcare personnel in hospitals and residential facilities cannot be arrested without a warrant unless a police officer personally witnesses the offense. This bill creates a narrow addition to the warrantless arrest statute that would allow police to arrest a person who interferes with medically necessary services through threats or actual violence and poses a risk to continue to interfere unless they are arrested. NAMI-NH, the New Hampshire Disability Rights Center, and the New Hampshire Hospital Association all supported the changes. OTP/A by VV.
SB 70-FN, relative to the establishment of an election information portal. This bill as amended takes Help America Vote Act (HAVA) monies and puts them towards the purchase of new voting machines and the building of an online voter information portal. The portal will allow people to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot, thus making those processes easier. OTP/A by VV.
ENVIRONMENT AND AGRICULTURE
SB 61, relative to surface water setbacks for landfills. This bill directs the Department of Environmental Services to reexamine its rules governing setbacks of newly sited landfills from surface water bodies to impose site-specific requirements sufficient to prevent groundwater contaminated by a spill or release of leachate from reaching such a water body before remedial action can be implemented, to provide the department with representative factors that it must consider in adopting new setback rules, and to require the department to take into account certain additional environmental protective measures proposed by an applicant for a landfill permit. OTP/A by DV, 236-132.
SB 172-FN, allowing court-appointed guardians to receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families benefits. This is a simple addition of “court-appointed guardians” to a long list of those eligible for federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families while providing support to a broad category of children under 19 years of age. OTP by VV.
LABOR, INDUSTRIAL AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
SB 42-FN, relative to overpayment of unemployment compensation. This bill, as it was passed by the senate, eliminates the collection of interest on most overpayment of unemployment benefits. Interest would still be charged in instances where the recipient willfully made a false statement or representation or knowingly failed to disclose a material fact to obtain or increase the unemployment compensation. OTP by DV, 196-178.
SB 193, relative to the obligation of collective bargaining units to negotiate in good faith. This bill makes a change to the definition of “good faith” negotiation. Currently, negotiation in good faith requires that meetings be held within reasonable time frames. If one side deliberately delays or avoids scheduling negotiating sessions, that would be considered an unfair labor practice. What constitutes an unreasonable delay is left to the discretion of the NH Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB), who also determines associated remedies and penalties. This bill would add the presumption that a failure to meet within a two-week time frame constitutes bad faith negotiations. The amendment clarifies that the 10-day limit as set by the original language means 10 business days. OTP/A by DV, 200-171.
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT
SB 110-FN-LOCAL, (New Title) relative to residency status. This bill defines residency status of transient individuals for purposes of determining responsibility for local assistance. OTP by RC, 190-180.
SB 132-FN, prohibiting cities and towns from adopting sanctuary policies. This bill seeks to prohibit towns and cities from creating what it terms sanctuary policies, by requiring law enforcement personnel to cooperate with federal immigration detainers as defined under USC1373 and setting out legal consequences for any state political subdivision, including individuals within those subdivisions, that in any way promulgate or “endorse” policies that are welcoming to immigrants. Those who introduced the bill to the committee stated that it did not constitute a mandate but that is in question since the penalties for not abiding by its prohibitions are so severe. Further, by banning policies as well as practices, municipalities are given little guidance on what would constitute such a policy, or whether even a discussion about the subject would be a violation for which an individual or a town could be investigated and sued. The bill violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution in its prohibition of even a casual mention of the sanctuary policies it targets. It could violate the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution in its adherence to federal immigration detainers with no mention of how those detainer requests originate and that they must demonstrate probable cause that the person to be detained has committed a felony, and it is potentially confusing to municipalities on this point since police in New Hampshire towns and cities already comply with immigration detainers when appropriate. Members in support of Inexpedient to Legislate believe it also creates an unfunded mandate since towns and cities would have to divert law enforcement resources or increase staffing in order to meet the bill’s requirements. Further, because individual officials are held personally liable to investigation and responsible for attorney and court fees no matter what their status or where they serve or volunteer, towns and cities can offer no assurance to those officials that they will not find themselves in court and paying legal fees to an anonymous complainant. Municipalities themselves that run afoul of this bill could be sued and the cost will ultimately be borne by taxpayers. This bill is flawed, inconsistent with federal and state law and, as such, will result in immediate lawsuits by individuals and organizations, imposing costs on towns and cities. Tabled by RC, 203-168.
Last Week in the Senate
The Senate met in session on June 7 and June 8. Here are the outcomes of some of the bills we’re tracking.
On the Regular Calendar (June 7)
HB 1-A, making appropriations for the expenses of certain departments of the state for fiscal years ending June 30, 2024 and June 30, 2025. OTP/A by VV.
HB 2-FN-A-L, relative to state fees, funds, revenues, and expenditures. OTP/A by RC 24-0.
HB 367-FN-L, relative to eligibility of students in the education freedom account program. OTP by RC, 14-10.
On the Regular Calendar (June 8)
HB 25-A, making appropriations for capital improvements. OTP/A by VV.
ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
HB 251, relative to the cost of compliance with disclosure of electric renewable portfolio standards. OTP/A by VV.
HB 253, establishing a committee to study extended producer responsibility. OTP by VV.
HB 315, prohibiting provocation based on the defendant’s religion, race, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, political beliefs or affiliation, sex, or gender identity. OTP/A by VV.
Coming up in the House
The next House session is scheduled for Thursday, June 15 at 10 AM. A second session is planned for Thursday, June 29.
As of this writing, there is no detail in the House calendar about the agenda for the June 15 session, but we anticipate that House members will vote on whether to concur with Senate versions of House bills, and to confirm Committees of Conference. We will watch for a calendar addendum.
Coming up in House Committees
Tuesday, June 13
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON HOUSING, Room 302-304, LOB
10 AM Presentation by NH Department of Environmental Services.
11 AM Presentation by City of Manchester Engineering.
11:30 AM Presentation by Red Oak.
1 PM Presentation on Accessory Dwellings from NH Housing and Southern NH Housing Commission.
Coming up in the Senate
The next Senate session is scheduled for Thursday, June 15 at 1 PM. You can watch it here.
As of this writing, there is no detail in the Senate calendar about the agenda for the June 15 session, but we anticipate that senators will vote on whether to concur with House versions of Senate bills, and to confirm Committees of Conference. We will watch for a calendar addendum.
Coming up in Senate Committees
Wednesday, June 14
COMMISSION TO STUDY COMMUNITY IMPACTS OF THE SECURED YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTER (RSA 169-B:48), Room 100, SH
10 a.m. Organizational Meeting
Plan your summer at World Fellowship Center! See the calendar of events here.
Refugee Leadership Development Program provides monthly workshops to refugee and immigrant organizers across the United States. Led by refugees for refugees, this training series is an opportunity to learn more about advocacy tactics being used to advance pro-refugee/ pro-immigrant policy on the state and national level, story-telling and narrative shifting, and connecting with resources and local networks to build more welcoming and inclusive communities. Participants who attend a minimum of 3 workshops will receive a Certificate of Participation by We Are All America. Similarly, those who attend every training will be gifted a Certificate of Completion, where the alum of our program will be invited to co-facilitate or propose future workshops.
Save the date: Juneteenth Celebration 2023 - Reading the Bones: Celebrating the African Diaspora – Hosted by the Black Heritage Trail NH. A weeklong Juneteenth celebration to honor these early African settlers and their descendants for their extraordinary contributions to the growth of this region. We honor the African traders who interacted with the Indigenous tribal nations long before European settlers landed on these shores. We honor the Africans who survived the Middle Passage and the successive generations of the African diaspora who continue to contribute to the development, wealth, and well-being of New England. The celebration includes a tour, a panel discussion (featuring AFSC staff members, Grace and Fisto), a Reggae festival, a gospel choir concert, African drumming, and more!
Sunday, June 11
2023 NH Peace Action Annual Meeting – 10 AM to 2 PM. Bear Brook State Park - Bathhouse Pavilion, 157 Deerfield Road, Allenstown. Hosted by NH Peace Action. Please join us for our Annual Meeting and Celebration of Will! This will be Will Hopkins last Annual Meeting as Executive Director. We plan to have plenty of space for reflection and stories with Will following the short Business Meeting, elections, and lunch. Will is planning on cooking ribs and stuffed mushrooms. This will be the last time you can enjoy Will's BBQ as Executive Director! The remainder of the lunch will be potluck. Tickets are just $20 to help cover the cost of park rental and beverages. There is an option for students/fixed income as well. If cost is a barrier to attending, please email Doreen@nhpeaceaction.org.
Coal Retirement Action - 12:30 PM. Merrimack Station, 431 River Road, Bow. Hosted by 350 NH. From June 12 to June 20, Granite Shore Power (Merrimack Station’s owners) will have a chance to retire the coal plant. We are determined to make sure this happens! That’s why on June 11, we’re joining activists around the county in a day of action to shut down fossil fuels. We’ll descend on Merrimack Station to demand that Granite Shore Power file to close the plant—and, as always, demonstrate that if they won’t act, we are ready to retire it ourselves. We'd love to have you with us! Join our prep session here.
Monday, June 12
The Way of Abundance: Economic Justice in Scripture and Society - 4:30 PM to 6 PM. 140 Sheep Davis Road Pembroke. Hosted by the NHCUCC Economic Justice Mission Group & NH Council of Churches. As our state and nation face troubling economic inequality, join us for a presentation and engaging conversation with Dr. Edie Rasell, author of "The Way of Abundance: Economic Justice in Scripture and Society." We will discuss the scriptural call to create a society in which all thrive. A limited number of Edie’s books will be available for $10 (cash or check to the NHCUCC). For more info contact email@example.com
Pennacook Retribution: “Who Shall Judge The Indians Now?” - 6:30 PM. Dover Public Library. Hosted by Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People. Join us for the premier of a new short documentary written by Anne Jennison (Traditional Abenaki Storyteller & Historian) in collaboration with the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People and the Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective. In 1698, Major Richard Waldron was executed by the Pennacooks in an event that came to be known as the Cocheco Massacre. The life and livelihood of Major Waldron is celebrated in colonial era histories that have resonated for over 300 years, usually painting him as a tragic hero and the Pennacook Indians as the “savages” who murdered him. But what does this story look like from the perspective of the Pennacook people who have lived on this land for over 12,000 years.
Tuesday, June 13
Open Democracy Book Club: One Person, No Vote – 7 PM to 8:30 PM. Hosted by Open Democracy. Join us for another book club to discuss Carol Anderson's One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy. Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. In a powerful new afterword, she examines the repercussions of the 2018 midterm elections. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.
Wednesday, June 14
Digital Equity Planning In NH - 9 AM. Hosted by Welcoming NH. Join us for a presentation with the National Collaborative for Digital Equity to learn more about current efforts to improve Digital Equality in New Hampshire and to ensure the right people are at the table! Learn more about available grants and how we can affect the work to make sure it is what it needs to be in NH.
Project Voice Virtual Concert - 7 PM. Hosted by AFSC. Join us to celebrate the impact of AFSC's Oregon-Washington Project Voice! With special guest musicians Los Jornales del Norte.
Thursday, June 15
MCAC Town Hall: 3rd Anniversary Celebration – 5 PM to 6:30 PM. SEE Science Center, 200 Bedford Street, Manchester. Hosted by Manchester Community Action Coalition (MCAC). Join us for an evening of partnership and science. There will be community, music, dance, food, science activities, insects, robots. All are welcome!
NO Asphalt Plant Visibility Before Nashua Planning Board Meeting – 6 PM. Nashua City Hall. Hosted by 350 NH. Finally, the Nashua planning board is meeting to vote on the asphalt plant proposal! Join us outside City Hall at 6 PM for a visibility before attending the meeting at 7 PM.
Thursday, June 22
We Owe You Nothing: A Conversation on Debt Abolition – 4 PM. Hosted by Prism & The Debt Collective. We’ll be exploring four different kinds of major debt: student loan debt, medical debt, carceral debt, and renters’ debt. Our goal is to shift the narrative around debt and break the false idea that “easy” money management advice and a bootstrap mentality are the only solutions to financial freedom. Hear from Leonardo Vilchis-Zarate on renters’ debt, Manuel Galindo and Gabrielle Perry on carceral debt, and Lindsey Muniak on medical debt and the work of The Debt Collective, the country’s first debtors' union organizing for debt cancellation and abolition.
Tuesday, June 27
Spotlight On: No PRIDE in Detention - 7 PM. Hosted by Out Boulder County and AFSC & Coloradans For Immigrant Rights. Join us virtually for a deeper dive on LGBTQ Immigrant Detention. We'll examine the reasons people migrate, the dangers that LGBTQ people experience in ICE detention, with a specific call to action for Paul White and his fight for freedom from the GEO Aurora Detention Center.
Thursday, June 29
Reimagining Independence Day - 7 PM. Hosted by AFSC and the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. Join us for a panel conversation on the meaning of Independence Day in today's global migration context. Who is Independence Day for? How does nationalism impact migration policy and the individual experiences of migrants? How has the United States lived and not lived into values of liberty and equality in its approach to migration? What is our vision for a U.S. immigration system that truly embodies these values? What is our vision for a decolonized global migration system?
Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke
AFSC’s New Hampshire "State House Watch" newsletter is published to bring you information about matters being discussed in Concord which relate to racial, social, and economic justice. Bookmark: https://afsc.org/state-house-watch to read current and past newsletters.
The AFSC is a Quaker organization supported by people of many faiths who care about peace, social justice, humanitarian service, and nonviolent change. Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke staff the New Hampshire Program which publishes this newsletter. You can support our work by donating to the NH Program online or by sending a check payable to: AFSC-NH, 4 Park Street #304, Concord NH 03301. Thank you!